1. Faculty

Brian Fitzsousa

Music History and Literature

Three Pieces for String Quartet Brian Fitzsousa Three Pieces for String Quartet by Brian Fitzsousa.

Courses Taught

  • Topics in Music History 18th/19th Centuries


  • MM, San Francisco Conservatory of Music
  • BM, New York University

What is your hometown?

West Hartford, CT

What are your favorite recordings?

Wagner, Tristan und Isolde, Kirsten Flagstad, Lauritz Melchior, Orchestra and Chorus of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Fritz Reiner (1936)
Poulenc, La voix humaine, Denise Duval, Orchestre du Théátre National De l'Opéra-Comique, Georges Prêtre (1959)
The Mountain Goats, The Sunset Tree (2005)

What are you passionate about outside of music?


Who were your major teachers?

David Conte, Rebecca Plack, and Justin Dello-Joio.

What question do you wish students would ask sooner rather than later?

“Will you read a draft of my paper?”

What was the defining moment when you decided to pursue music as a career?

My first solo performance—in a 7th-grade talent show!

What was a turning point in your career?

Working as a Graduate Assistant for the SFCM Music History department and realizing a passion for both teaching and musicology.

What is your daily practice routine?

When I'm gearing up for rehearsal periods at San Francisco Opera, I'm playing for hours every day. When I'm not, I balance daily practice with composing and research. I'm lucky that my practice is almost always informed by current collaborations—it keeps me going.

If you could play only three composers for the rest of your life, who would they be?

Mozart, Wagner, and Adés.

From a music history perspective, what year and city are most important to you?

Dresden, 1905.

What are your most important collaborations?

Amaranth String Quartet (Three Pieces for String Quartet and Piano Quintet)
Founding the New York University Composer's Collective
My current project: creating an original ballet with choreographer Marika Brussel